Mohono unhappy with vax rate on NW farms

Desbo Mohono, MEC for agriculture and rural development in North West. Photo: Supplied/Food For Mzansi

Desbo Mohono, MEC for agriculture and rural development in North West. Photo: Supplied/Food For Mzansi

Despite the North West recording a recovery rate of 96.7% and fewer than 750 active Covid-19 cases, farming communities in the province have been urged not to let their guard down.

The province’s MEC for agriculture and rural development, Desbo Mohono, has raised concern over a lack of vaccinations in farming communities, stating that only the Bojanala district was making headway in vaccinating farmworkers and farm dwellers.

She called on relevant stakeholders to increase the number of people who are vaccinated in the sector. “We are not there yet. I am not 100% satisfied with the vaccination reach in the agricultural sector.

“There is a long way to go, however I am happy with the way my officials and other role players are pushing for the vaccination programme.

“I believe a lack of information is the driving force [behind] people in the farming community not coming out in their numbers to get vaccinated. Another aspect is the myth that is spreading… that one will die when vaccinated. That is not true and we need to increase information sharing in our area.”

Far-flung communities up next

Mohono said out of the 1 200 staff members in her own office, just over 700 were vaccinated and she called on those left behind to get the jab.

“Remember this is not mandatory, however, as the department we have to go to the people and encourage them to vaccinate but how will we do that if the officials are not vaccinated? We have to start with our own officials.

“Yes, there will be those who show symptoms after vaccination and those who will not. I got vaccinated in May this year and I did not react, but other people I know, like my husband and one chief director, reacted,” she said.

Mohono felt it was important for the sector to remain productive as the food security of the country and province relied on agriculture.

“We have partnered with the department of health where we even transport farmworkers and dwellers to vaccination sites, so it is really not an issue of sites being far from the people. We are doing all in our power to ensure that as many people as possible are being vaccinated.”

According to Mohono, extension officers in the department were still going to encourage more workers in agriculture to take up the opportunity to get vaccinated.

She said the people of the province needed to be told accurately about the side effects of taking the jab and the long-term effects so that the country could reach its intended vaccination target. Her department will continue to take vaccination drives to far-flung farming communities.

ALSO READ: Farms in Limpopo double up as vaccination centres

Sign up for Mzansi Today: Your daily take on the news and happenings from the agriculture value chain.

Exit mobile version